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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 29, 2009
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    Chevy Chase, MD
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    Default What were they thinking?!

    I had one of these moments the other day and I was just curious as to how many other people could relate. It was really one of those times where you just stop and think, 'What were they thinking?!'

    I was out at the barn working with my young horse Cinnamon that I am currently in the process of breaking. She is a very sweet mare and it fairly tolerant, though it's obvious to me now that I wasn't giving her nearly enough credit. Anyways, I had just finished lunging her and was letting her walk around and graze. Well, in the ring next to us a 6 year old girl was getting a riding lesson while her mother, father, 2 year old sister, and 7year old brother watched from the outside. (they have no experience with horses at all).

    I made sure to keep clear of the family since Cinnamon had never been around young children and I'm a firm believer in better safe than sorry. So the mother comes over holding her daughter and asks if her son can pet Cinnamon, to which I agreed to so long as he stayed next to me by her neck and shoulder. So as he is petting her, she puts her 2 year old daughter down and turns around and LEAVES. The 2 year old immediately runs behind my horse, grabs her tail and yanks on it as hard as she can while screaming 'PONY PONY'.

    My friend who's been helping me train Cinnamon immediately half runs and half fast walks behind her to grab the child. Meanwhile I'm telling Cinnamon to hold still and stand and silently praying to every and any god in existence to please keep my horse from kicking and killing this little girl. My friend manages to scoop the girl up who is now screeching at the top of her lungs and the mother is running over to get her child. Once she has her child, she tells the daughter "shame on you don't run away," and immediately puts her down and is oblivious to her once again. Needless to say I took my horse as far away from them as possible, all the while letting her know how proud I was of her and how no matter what she does I will never sell her. And that I was going to bring her 50 lbs of apples out for her the next day My friend and I then walked to the car literally just asking over and over What were they thinking?! There was really nothing else to say other than that.

    So after this fun experience, I was just wondering how many of you have had an experience similiar to this and if you'd like to share

    Also, as soon as the little girl was put down, she promptly made a bee line to the arena and climbed in while the older sister was still riding, leaving mom to go dashing after her through the sand, in sandals. To this day I really don't think the mother realizes just how lucky her daughter was.
    You're trying to do something normal people wouldn't do because they're terrified they might fail. -Boyd Martin



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2008
    Location
    Alberta, Canada and South Australia
    Posts
    2,830

    Default

    OH my!!! Someone needs to smack some sense into that ladies head. And maybe attach a leash to the kid or better yet leave the uber little ones at home if parents aren't going to/willing to hold child the entire time they are at the stables.

    Cinnamon definitly deserves that 50lbs of apples! What a good girl!

    P.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
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    8,355

    Default

    I hope the barn owner or manager was immediately informed so they can ban these people from bringing their other kids near the barn. I can't believe that anyone is as stupid as the parents are, but of course, they will be the first to sue for millions when something happens to their kid.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 5, 2009
    Location
    Penn Valley CA
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    633

    Default

    Oh my, oh my! Mom has no clue, little one has no clue what a combination. You have a good girl not kicking out at that nasty thing pulling my tail. When my son was a wee one and I'd go to the stable I put him on a lunge line, on a blanket with toys and his bottles, snacks under a big tree. He had one of those harness things and I'd attach the lung line. At first he didn't like it but learned when Mommy was riding her horse he was under the tree. I could watch him from the arena and he could see me. People would comment "how could you tie your child up?" My response was he was safe, enjoyed being around the horses and usually just fell asleep. Other children would join him under the tree and they usually had a grand time. He never got hurt, had a good nap and enjoyed playing with other kids. He hated playpens and would cry forever and just try to climb out.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    15,135

    Default

    The original mom was thinking Nothing... or that she could simply produce another kid should this one get kicked into the Next World. Infant mortality rates can be high in some parts of the world.

    I'm not usually a fan of kids on leashes, and I really was a candidate. But I think if I were riding and had a kid in tow, this is absolutely one time I'd reinforce "sit, stay" with snacks, toys and a lunge line.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2009
    Location
    Wisconsin
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    2,665

    Default

    I was at the Midwest Horse Fair (big horse expo) with my 4yr to do a demo. I was walking him down the aisle and he stopped moving. I look behinde him and there is a kid in a stroller pulling on his tail. His mother had pushed the stoller into my horse's hocks! I freaked out and told her that she was lucky her child was not dead. Her response "if your horse is dangerous he shouldn't be around people, and I would sue you if your horse kicked my kid"



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 29, 2009
    Location
    Chevy Chase, MD
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    307

    Default

    Ironic how that's the first thought into someone's mind. Not 'Wow, maybe I should be more careful around these 1200 lb animals with my child,' but, 'If he kicks her/him I'll sue'.

    Really lets you know where people's priorities are now a days.
    You're trying to do something normal people wouldn't do because they're terrified they might fail. -Boyd Martin



  8. #8
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2009
    Location
    The Left Coast
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    3,318

    Default

    A few years ago at my barn a couple of families with toddlers leased a pony for the kids to play with. I think the oldest kid was five or six and could ride a little, but one of the moms was pregnant, and both women had toddlers. They were forever at the barn with all the kids, brushing the pony. What killed me was that both moms only ever wore flip flops. So while the older kid would be having her lesson, the 7 months pregnant flip flop mama would be trying to retrieve her 2 year old from the arena. I mean, you can't run in flip flops! Not to mention handling an equine of any size in open-toed shoes.
    2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

    A helmet saved my life.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2001
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    878

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cinnabon2004 View Post
    ........Also, as soon as the little girl was put down, she promptly made a bee line to the arena and climbed in while the older sister was still riding, leaving mom to go dashing after her through the sand, in sandals. To this day I really don't think the mother realizes just how lucky her daughter was.
    Your horse is obviously very well behaved and you have done a really good job with her. Maybe I'm just an interfering old cow (in fact, I AM an interfering old cow LOL) but after I had put my horse away, I would have gone and found mother and family and I would have had a quiet, pleasant talk with them about the potential dangers which can be encountered around horses and the appropriate attire and behaviour (especially since you say they have no experience with horses at all). I would put HEAVY emphasis to the parents about the need to be eternally vigilant of their children and of the potential for a horse to react swiftly to sudden movements and sounds. No they weren't thinking, but the problem is they are UNKNOWING and, while you might think common sense would tell them a lot of this stuff, common sense isn't that common and those of us who do have more knowledge can help a lot by sharing that knowledge.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    10,327

    Default

    A few years ago at a major competition, just before the last rider to go entered the ring, a toddler ran under the horse's legs, causing a major disruption in rider/ horse concentration. Child survived, horse pulled one rail, moving rider from First to Second. First rail pulled in over a year.

    It could have been worse. Trampled child.

    Parents? Oblivious!
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2004
    Location
    on the North Shore, MA
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    2,058

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue from Auckland View Post
    Your horse is obviously very well behaved and you have done a really good job with her. Maybe I'm just an interfering old cow (in fact, I AM an interfering old cow LOL) but after I had put my horse away, I would have gone and found mother and family and I would have had a quiet, pleasant talk with them about the potential dangers which can be encountered around horses and the appropriate attire and behaviour (especially since you say they have no experience with horses at all). I would put HEAVY emphasis to the parents about the need to be eternally vigilant of their children and of the potential for a horse to react swiftly to sudden movements and sounds. No they weren't thinking, but the problem is they are UNKNOWING and, while you might think common sense would tell them a lot of this stuff, common sense isn't that common and those of us who do have more knowledge can help a lot by sharing that knowledge.
    This. I too would have returned to the Mom and quietly and pleasantly explained the need to keep the little ones close at hand and in sight around horses.
    Share your knowledge with the uninformed!
    Bridal Sweet 05/28/1983 to 01/23/2008





  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 30, 2005
    Location
    England
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    Horses are like big dogs you know.
    Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 1, 2007
    Posts
    496

    Default

    Let the barn owner know about the 2 year old. As much as the ponies are "cute" and clueless parents think they are "big dogs", this is a hazard.

    The parents do need to be made aware of the physics behind an 800 - 1200# animal and the force of its hind hoof into a 30# child.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
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    Packing my bags
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    31,332

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GaellentQuest View Post
    I was at the Midwest Horse Fair (big horse expo) with my 4yr to do a demo. I was walking him down the aisle and he stopped moving. I look behinde him and there is a kid in a stroller pulling on his tail. His mother had pushed the stoller into my horse's hocks! I freaked out and told her that she was lucky her child was not dead. Her response "if your horse is dangerous he shouldn't be around people, and I would sue you if your horse kicked my kid"

    well, they let that dangerous lady into public.... sheesh.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 12, 2008
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    526

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GaellentQuest View Post
    I was at the Midwest Horse Fair (big horse expo) with my 4yr to do a demo. I was walking him down the aisle and he stopped moving. I look behinde him and there is a kid in a stroller pulling on his tail. His mother had pushed the stoller into my horse's hocks! I freaked out and told her that she was lucky her child was not dead. Her response "if your horse is dangerous he shouldn't be around people, and I would sue you if your horse kicked my kid"
    I have been thinking about this thread since I read it last night. Both the original post and the post above just give me nightmares. I think that there are so many clueless parents who haven't any experience with large animals. Also, the "I'll sue you" attitude reflects an absolute lack of care for the welfare of the child. I guess she would rather have the money than a healthy child. I think I would have launched into a lecture on personal resposibility and responsible parenting (or would have wished later that I had, LOL).

    I think strollers are a recipe for disaster in animal barns and should not be allowed in them. Parents seem to leave their brains at the door. I was once in a standing stall with a horse who freaked out because the horse next to it was attacking it over the divider. I was unable to back the horse out of the stall and ended up getting struck in the chest with the horse's front hooves when it reared, because some idiot parent was gawking at me from behind the horse and their stroller was right behind the horse's stall. I had to scream at them to move the stroller so I could get the horse out. I also literally threw myself between a stroller and a HUGE charging Hereford bull who had gotten loose in the cattle barn when I was in 4-H. The parent was just standing there, watching this bull run down the aisle towards them. They didn't even attempt to move the stroller out of the bull's path. We were dashing to close the barn doors when I saw what was happening and threw myself into harms way. Luckily for me, the bull was not intent on hurting anyone, and it turned. Oblivious parent and stroller obliviously went on their way without even a thank you.

    I believe that stupidity is the new form of Natural Selection. Maybe that is what you tell Mrs. "I'll sue you".



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr. 29, 2006
    Posts
    3,372

    Default

    Sigh. And now think about the show Unstable. You will have some non-horse people watching the show and this will be their 'lesson' in how to behave around horses. Loffly.

    Some people just never get it. My daughter was stepped on when one of the lesson parents (who had horses at home no less) backed right into her pony pushing her into my daughter.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct. 10, 2009
    Posts
    172

    Default

    Non-horse people have no clue, plain and simple. Even the experienced professionals get injured on the ground. I don't think the average person realizes how dangerous horses are and it happens in a fraction of a second.



  18. #18
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    Feb. 7, 2005
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    Eventing Heaven, VA
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    Too bad there is a natural tendency toward: The Stupider The Person, The More Likely They Are To Sue For Something They Caused. And as soon as a kid is involved, they win no matter how little you are at fault.
    Failure is always an option*
    -Mythbusters

    *As long as you figure out what you f'ed up and fix it! -Me



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 2003
    Location
    Virginia
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    7,136

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    Quote Originally Posted by Voldemare View Post
    Non-horse people have no clue, plain and simple.
    Really. Their ONLY EXPERIENCE with animals is with dogs. If THAT...



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2008
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    961

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    It is very unfortunate that people just do not always pay attention to their children when around horses, big or small ones. When were out in public with our draft horses and there are children, if they aren't in the enclosure we put around our trailer with them inside, my husband is at one end and I at the head and we are very watchful. Have children slipped by one one of us? Absolutely! I had one wee little lass suction herself to one of Smoke's front legs before I could grab a handful of shirt on her way by, Smoke looked down then looked at me and sighed softly.

    I am not saying that we shouldn't be watchful in public with our horses, as others said, they can be oblivious to the fact that horses can and sometimes are, unpredictable. But, keep training your horse at home to be tolerant and patient with things and to be a good citizen out in the public. It is hard to not get angry at others, but I find that many people just do not know better, it is annoying sometimes, it is irritating but it is the truth. I guess we equestrian folks need to have eyes on the front and back of our heads!

    Three cheers to the OP and her horse who did a fantastic job!



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